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Elijah McCoy died on this day in 1929. He was born in Canada, the son of fugitive slaves who had escaped through the Underground Railroad in Detroit. His family later returned to Ypsilanti, Michigan. Having worked on the railroad, he earned notority for his 57 U.S. patents, most having to do with the lubrication of steam engines. Many believe that is upon one of those innovations that the phrase “the real McCoy” is based.

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